If you had a second chance at performing at the Oscars, wouldn’t you take it? That’s Eminem’s explanation for his surprise performance at this year’s Academy Awards, stating that he wanted a second chance after refusing to perform his hit song “Lost Yourself” nearly 18 years ago. Eminem won the Academy Award for Best Song in 2003 for his biographical film 8 Mile – but he didn’t show up to accept the award. The rapper claimed he didn’t make an appearance all those years ago because he didn’t actually think he had a shot at winning.
In an interview for Behind the Boards in 2007, he said, “I just felt like I had no chance of winning because, you know, when I heard I was nominated, I thought that was for actors.”
Some sources say that Eminem refused to perform in 2003 because he didn’t want to sing a censored version of the song.
Eminem’s comeback performance was kept under wraps from the media. According to Variety, sources say the Dolby Theater was put on lockdown during rehearsals to prevent the news from leaking.
While the show was definitely a shock, some celebrities didn’t seem to know how exactly to react. Some appeared confused while others were clapping and singing along.
One of the most notable moments that Twitter went crazy for was director Martin Scorsese’s apparent boredom with the performance. The camera panned to the director as it showed him falling asleep.
MARTIN SCORSESE FALLING ASLEEP DURING THE EMINEM PERFORMANCE HAS ME IN TEARS pic.twitter.com/KBvucxsY6N
— 𝐦𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐞 ⎊ 𝐛𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐲 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐛𝐨𝐭 (@sunsetpeter) February 10, 2020
After the performance, Eminem posted a thank you tweet to the Academy accompanied by a video of his 2003 win for the song being accepted by his co-writer Luis Resto.
“Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity… Thanks for having me @TheAcademy. Sorry, it took me 18 years to get here,” he wrote.
While it might be a little too far to say Eminem is more chilled-out than he was back in 2003, it certainly seems like he’s a little easier to get along with. For those who were barely drinking-age when 8 Mile was a big deal, it’s nice to see this music, this moment will seemingly never get old. Watch it here.